Attorney Donald Lincoln

Donald Lincoln

Don has been practicing law since 1968 and was one of the firm’s founding partners. Today, he continues to practice law with the firm in an Of Counsel status. While he has wide experience in many areas of civil law, his primary practice has involved representing municipal and other clients in complex administrative, trial, and appellate proceedings.

During his career, he has represented municipalities in civil disputes; negotiated contracts for the sale and purchase of electrical energy; participated in the drafting of local, state, and federal legislation; and obtained court approval of the first voluntary school integration plan for a major urban school district.

Don has been Counsel of Record in more than 35 reported appellate cases covering a wide range of issues. Twice, he successfully represented municipal clients in the United States Supreme Court. The first case centered on a water and power dispute and included as parties five Indian Bands, the Department of the Interior, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The second case was a landmark proceeding which upheld a city’s right to enact mobile home park space rent regulation. Other career highlights include successfully representing 52 California counties in a property tax case before the Ninth Circuit and arguing on behalf of 76 cities in a rent control case before the California Supreme Court. He also has regularly appeared in the California Courts of Appeal where his successes include reversing a $55 million eminent domain verdict against a county.

Don received a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University in 1962 and a Bachelor of Law from Duke University in 1967. In 1989 he earned a Masters of Law from the University of San Diego.

He has held many positions in his local church and is active in other community activities including the La Jolla Rotary Club. He served in the United States Navy and retired with the rank of Commander.

Areas of Practice:


Bar Admissions:

California, 1968
U.S. Federal Court, 1968
U.S. Supreme Court, 1971
U.S. Tax Court, 1989


  • L.L.M., University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California, 1989
  • L.L.B., Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina, 1967
  • A.B., Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1962

Representative Cases:

  • Galland v. City of Clovis, 24 Cal. 4th 1003, 16 P .3d 130, 103 Cal. Rptr. 2d 711 (2001)
  • Yee v. City of Escondido, 503 U.S. 519, 112 S. Ct. 1522 (1992)
  • Escondido Mut. Water Co. v. La Jolla Band of Mission Indians et al, 466 U.S. 765, 104 S. Ct. 2105 (1984)
  • Marvin F. Poer and Co. v. Counties of Alameda, 725 F .2d 1234 (C.A.9) (1984)
  • Crawford v. Board of Ed. of City of Los Angeles, 551 P .2d 28 (1976)

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • President, Kearny Mesa Rotary Club (1987–1988)
  • Member, La Jolla Rotary Club

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